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The Danger Zone

The world is going through a number of changes right now. From February 6 to March 24, 2023, the world experienced several small and large earthquakes. Some countries felt the tremor twice during this period. There is nothing new about earthquakes. However, there have been several changes in its pattern in recent times. The intensity of quakes has been recorded between 4.3-7.0 on the Richter scale so far in 2023. While the north-eastern Indian Province of Meghalaya recorded an intensity of 4.3 on the Richter scale, New Zealand recorded 7.0. Both the frequency and intensity of those temblors were devastating.

One should not forget that the world has become hotter than before in recent times because of Global Warming. Arguably, it is the most dramatic manifestation of Climate Change. The Earth is still habitable because conditions have not yet reached extremes. Otherwise, lives would have become extinct on the Earth, like other planets. Incidentally, when the Greenhouse was invented in 1800, the global community came to know that this sphere would keep the Earth covered with a blanket from outside heat and extreme cold.

The situation has gradually changed in the last couple of centuries. Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide and Methane, which have been emitted from the Earth for hundreds of years, are trapped at the surface of this planet. As a result, the Greenhouse Effect traps solar radiation about 300 times more, and seas are getting warmer. Although the difference in temperature may seem nominal, the effect can be devastating due to the huge mass of ocean water. Scientists have explained that as the ocean waters become warm, the continental plates beneath the oceans also become slightly warmer. The expansion of plates with the rising sea level leads to instability, which disturbs the Earth’s crust on a small or large scale. According to researchers, frequent earthquakes and volcanic events across the globe indicate a continuous rise in the temperature of ocean water and also in the sea level.

A number of islands have already sunk in the ocean because of the rise in sea level, and many more are likely to sink in the coming years. Meanwhile, the glaciers are gradually being destroyed because of the increase in temperature in the North and South Poles. The destruction of glaciers, in turn, is raising the sea level.

Scientists have repeatedly warned that excess emission of greenhouse gases may increase the frequency of earthquakes. Due to the release of these deadly gases, the condition of air is constantly worsening. One can easily realise this even outside urban areas. Countries affected by recent earthquakes are Syria, Turkey (6.3 on the Richter scale), Nepal (5.6), New Zealand (7.0), India (4.3), Mexico (2.9), China (4.8), Afghanistan, Tajikistan (6.8), Indonesia (6.3), Colombia (5.4), Australia (6.3), Argentina (6.5), the Philippines (5.6) and New Guinea (5.7).

Scientists have opined that foothills of the Himalayas are the most dangerous place, as this mountain range, which separates the plains of the Indian Subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau, is the world’s largest geological rift. The soft rocks of the Himalayas not only prevent a major earthquake in this region, but also protect India from the cold winds coming from China. In case a big earthquake strikes the Himalayas for some reason, all the architectural signs of the Indian Civilisation, especially in the northern part of the country, will be completely destroyed. If people still remain so apathetic, then the future of Human Civilisation is in real danger.

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